Production of biodegradable bicycle lubricant from sheep hair

Problem statement

Every year, bicycle users apply about 24 million litres of oil to their bicycle chains to lubricate them, polluting the environment.

Executive summary

Bicycle chain lubricants are produced from petroleum. Eco Sheep™ is a biodegradable lubricant, obtained from the sheep's summer coat. The wool is washed and the lanolin is removed by degreasing. This is mixed with vegetable oils and used as a lubricant.

Technology description

Sheep naturally produce lanolin, an oil they secrete in their wool to protect their bodies against moisture and weather. Eco Sheep™ is a fully biodegradable lubricating oil made from this lanolin extracted from sheep's wool. Sheep are sheared in summer and their wool is degreased by washing it in hot water and scrubbing it with either a soapy substance or a volatile solvent. In addition, Eco Sheep™ uses a mixture of other vegetable oils together with lanolin to produce this lubricant. The problem raised by the company is that every year around 24 million litres of petroleum are used as lubricant for bicycle chains, contaminating soil and water, causing a means of transport that respects the environment to end up affecting it. This is why it has developed this 100% biodegradable and non-toxic lubricant.

Market deployment considerations


Environmental considerations


Technology feedstock

sheep wool

Type of process

concentration extraction purification

Technology output




Technology Readiness Level



United States




Private sector

Technology owner/developer

Harper & Hopkins, LLC
Send email
Visit website